Red State Makes Drastic Education Change

Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

( – On Friday, Florida’s state university system gave the green light to the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as an acceptable college entrance exam, marking it as the first state to embrace an alternative to the SAT.

Originating with support from Christian educational institutions and conservative political factions, the CLT was launched in December 2015. Currently, it’s recognized by over 250 U.S. colleges and universities, as stated on its official site. Priced at $59, this digital exam is divided into three sections spanning two hours, evaluating verbal reasoning, grammar, writing, and mathematical reasoning skills.

A notable feature is that students can access their results on the very day they take the test.

The Chancellor of the State University System of Florida, Ray Rodrigues, commented on the test’s alignment with classical educational approaches, emphasizing reading, writing, and analytical skills. He noted, “The CLT resonates with the classical liberal arts pedagogy, seen by some educators and institutions as offering a holistic and significant education.”

The decision to approve the CLT had significant support from the Board of Governors, with 14 members appointed by the Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has previously been at odds with the College Board, critiquing their new AP African American Studies curriculum and pushing for restrictions on LGBTQ+ content in educational settings.

Florida’s public universities will now accept ACT, SAT, or CLT scores from aspiring students. Furthermore, those aiming for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program can also present their CLT scores as part of their application.

However, the decision was not without reservations. Board member and University of Florida associate professor Amanda Phalin voiced concerns regarding the test’s novelty. She highlighted the widespread use and constant refining of existing standardized tests and said, “While I don’t object to the CLT’s inclusion, I question its adoption now, as there’s insufficient data to determine its comparability to the ACT and SAT.”

The school system, via an official statement on their site, welcomed the addition of the CLT, asserting their confidence in the decision and emphasizing their commitment to embracing a broader spectrum of students. They expressed, “Our move away from the conventional approach means we’re enhancing opportunities for students, allowing them a platform to display their scholarly aptitude, and making higher education more accessible.”

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